Kaiden was the 2017 KidsAbility Ambassador and is a gentle, sweet, happy 4-year-old little boy. His smile lights up a room, and his giggle is contagious.
Kaiden suffered from West Syndrome as an infant, leaving him with global developmental delays and low muscle tone. With medication, treatment and therapy, he was doing well.
In October 2017, he started having chronic seizures. They are related to his sleep, 99% of his seizures happen in the middle of the night.
On January 2, 2018 Kaiden started having a seizure and, just as with most of his seizures, he was silent. His seizure didn’t stop on its own and wouldn’t stop with medication. Kaiden ended up on a ventilator and airlifted to McMaster Children’s Hospital.
He experienced status epilepticus, and now that he has, he is at a great risk of experiencing it again. It is dangerous and life threatening. Because Kaiden’s seizures are silent and because none of the seizure alarms available will properly detect all his seizures, one of his parents must be awake all the time to monitor him and make sure he doesn’t go into status epilepticus again.
His dad stays awake all night to watch Kaiden on the baby monitor, while his mother, is his full-time caretaker during the day. On average Kaiden has anywhere from 2 to 6 seizures a week, sometimes up to 3 in one night, but the timing is always unpredictable, leaving his parents feeling constantly on edge and unable to relax.
Kaiden is such a beautiful and strong little boy. He is a hero to so many people. His strength and determination are amazing. Through a realtor friend the family has been blessed to acquire a Waterloo home to renovate to accommodate Kaiden’s special mobility needs.
Thanks to the help of Mike Jennings’ contacts at Cambridge Elevating, an elevator has been installed in their home that will allow Kaiden to navigate the three stories safely and relieve the parents from having to carry this growing 4-year-old up and down stairs daily.
The Funding Process
After becoming aware of Kaiden’s family’s plight Jamie Hamilton, the president of Cambridge Elevating committed to donating in time, labour and materials one third of the cost of the elevator and installation. This amounted to $10,000 towards the total project cost of $30,000.
With this contribution Mike Jennings, the president of the Rotary Club of Cambridge North went to work to raise the balance of the money needed to pay for the elevator.
The board of the Cambridge North Club unanimously supported a donation of $5000 to get the ball rolling. Then Mike reached out directly to the Rotary Clubs in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.
Over the months of January through June 2019 the following clubs donated $2000 each:
- Cambridge Sunrise
- Preston Hespeler
- Kitchener Grand River
- Kitchener Conestoga
Finally, representatives from the above clubs gathered to see the finished elevator and meet Kaiden and his parents Joe and Melissa in person.
Thank you to all the club presidents for their championing of this important initiative.
Kaiden and Melissa in his new elevator!
Jamie Hamilton (president of Cambridge Elevating) receives a cheque for $15,000 from Mike Jennings representing the contributing clubs.
Gathering to “cut the ribbon” on the new elevator. From left to right: Richard Bruckeder (Kitchener Rotary Club), Doug Palubiski (Kitchener Conestoga Rotary Club), Steve and Sandra Merrier (Cambridge Sunrise Rotary Club), Mike Jennings (Cambridge North Rotary Club), Rena Hawkins (Preston-Hespeler Rotary Club), Laureen Van Groningen (Cambridge North Rotary Club), and Melissa and Joe with Kaiden (kneeling front row)